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 You are here: Home > MIDI music! > Christmas carols from Provence > lyrics Lei pastourču (The Shepherd Lads). Wednesday October 21st 2020, Saint Celine. 

Lei pastourču listen the Midi file for this traditional music tune score of this traditional tune , (bis) listen the Midi file for this traditional music tune score of this traditional tune , (ter) listen the Midi file for this traditional music tune score of this traditional tune , (quater) listen the Midi file for this traditional music tune score of this traditional tune
(The Shepherd Lads)
Lyrics and music by Nicolas Saboly, known as Micoulau Sabňli. Traditional from Provence.
Tune Dans ce beau jour (By this nice day).

Nicolas Saboly has proposed four versions for this Christmas carol, whose first one is on familiar tune Dans ce beau jour (By this nice day).

This Christmas carol has been published on 1670 in the 4th book. It appears with number 29 in the Fr. Seguin’s new edition. It is part of the cycle entitled Histori de la naissenso dou Fis de Diou (History of God’s Son birth) made up of the seven carols from #25 to #31.

See also Lu Pastourču (County of Nice) and Nouvè doi Boiroulencs.

1st verse
Lei pastourču
An fach uno assemblado,
Lei pastourču
An tengu lou burču.
Aqui chascun a di sa rastelado
E s’es counclu, la paraulo dounado,
Vers lou pichot qu’es na.
 The shepherd lads
Have done a gathering,
The shepherd lads
Have sat on a committee (1).
Here, everyone said his “raking (2)
And it concluded, word given,
To go
To the child who was born.

2nd verse
Toutes ensčn
Se soun mes en campagno,
Toutes ensčn
Em’un fort mauvai tčm.
Es bčn verai que lei gčnt dei mountagno
Soun fach ŕ tout, cregnon rčn la magagno.
E laisson sei caban.
 All together
They get under way,
All together
With a very bad weather.
It’s really true that people from mountains
Become used to everything, they are not afraid of tiredness (3).
They go
And leave their cabin.

3rd verse
Coume faran
Pčr noun senti la biso ?
Coume faran ?
Ai pňu que périran.
Tous seis abi soun que de telo griso,
Soun tous trauca, li veson la camiso ;
Lei trau
Tčnon pas gaire caud !
 How will they do
To feel not the North wind?
How will they do?
I’m afraid they perish.
All their clothes are only made of grey (rough) canvas,
They all get holed, it is seen their shirt.
Aren’t really warm!

4th verse
Quint fre que fai !
Vount či ma camisolo ?
Quint fre que fai !
Se dis lou gros Gervai.
Sčnte deja que lou cors me tremolo ;
Siéu tout jala, pode pas tira solo ;
Lou fre
Me fai boufa lei det.
 How cold is the weather!
Where is my pea jacket?
How cold is the weather!
Thinks the fat Gervais.
I feel already my body trembling;
I’m frozen stiff, I can’t anymore pull [the] sole (4);
The cold
Makes my fingers inflate.

5th verse
Nňstei pastras,
A tres ouro sounado,
Nňstei pastras
Arribon dins lou jas.
Lou capču bas e la tčsto courbado,
Van, tout courrčnt, saluda l’acouchado
E fan
L’acoulado ŕ l’enfant.
 Our shepherds,
At three o’clock gone,
Our shepherds
Arrive in the shelter (5).
Their hat down and the head bent,
They go, running, and greet the new mother
And give
Embrace to the child.

6th verse
Laisson au sňu
Dous o tres bon froumage,
Laisson au sňu
Uno dougeno d’iňu.
Jňusč li dis : « Fasčs que fugués sage.
Tournas-vous-en, e fasčs bon vouiage.
Prenčs voste counjiet. »
 They leave on the ground
Two or three beautiful cheeses,
They leave on the ground
One dozen of eggs.
Joseph said them: “Let do to be wise.
Go back and have a good journey.
Here is your leave.”

1. An tengu lou burču: “to keep office” (to sit on a committee meeting) was, in Avignon, the accepted way of saying about a secular meeting.
2. A di sa rastelado: said all he learned, all he has accumulated. The rastelado means what it can be accumulated with the rastču (the rake).
3. Magagno: flaw, spot, defect (from mahagnare, to go bad, to rot). Here, understand “the tiredness”.
4. Pode pas tira solo: I can’t pick my foot up; from solo, sole of the foot, among mankind.
5. Jas: sheepfold, shelter, bed of straw.

• Saboly (Nicolas), Histori de la naissenso dou Fis de Diou composado en noé (History of God’s Son birth composed in Christmas carols), Pierre Offray printer, Avignon, 1670, p. 9-11.
• Recueil des noëls composés en langue provençale (Collection of Christmas carols composed in Provençal language), reprint Fr. Seguin, printer and bookseller, Avignon, 1856, p. 33-35.


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